We bet they don’t hate their bank balance though…
Some songs are truly iconic and are played over and over again on almost every radio station or at any big event that you attend. You may roll your eyes when you hear it but there’s no escaping the fact that 20 seconds in you’ll be stood with your arms in the air belting it out word-for-word like you’re in the midst of Glastonbury. You see music artists play their biggest hits at gigs and festivals and witness the crowd completely immersed in their lyrics, singing it back to them louder, and you think “wow, that must be one of the most amazing and surreal feelings in the world.”
And yeah, it probably is pretty special for them- the first fifty times they play it. However, after a while songs can really start to get under your skin and it can all become a bit torturous. When an artist records a song, they slave away over it for months, making sure that every little detail is perfect before they unleash their artistic gift to the world.
Surely, they must love everything they create, right? Nope.
Some artists have admitted to despising some of their own biggest hits (even though it probably made them filthy rich). There’s just no satisfying these creative types…
1) The Smiths- What Difference Does It Make?
It’s one of their most instantly recognisable songs, but Morrissey is not a fan of What Difference Does It Make?, which appeared on the band’s self-titled debut album. He has stated that it’s his least favourite Smiths songs due to his lyrics, which he finds, “facile and mildly embarrassing”. We’re going to have to agree to disagree Mozza…we love it.
2) Beastie Boys – Fight For Your Right To Party
Unarguably, this is Beastie Boys most well-known song. However, the boys themselves have decided that they no longer like it and it “sucks” due to its huge misinterpretation. Many people believe it’s glorifying frat boy culture and hooligans, when in fact- it was meant to be a satire on their behavior. Someone should’ve told them that this clever irony never works too well in music, just ask Bruce Springsteen…
3) Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven
Describing it as “that bloody wedding song”, singer Robert Plant has also said that he’d “break out in hives if I had to sing that song in every show. I wrote those lyrics and found that song to be of some importance and consequence in 1971, but 17 years later, I don’t know. It’s just not for me.”. It’s rumored that the cause of his ill-feeling toward the song also stems from the gargantuan solos that Jimmy Page was adament to put in during the end section of the song. He’s got a point…
4) Madonna- Like A Virgin
“I’m not sure I can sing ‘Holiday’ or ‘Like a Virgin’ ever again,” she admitted during a 2008 interview with New York’s Z100 Radio. “I just can’t sing it, unless somebody paid me, like, $30 million or something.” The Pop Queen also ranted about people even playing her songs to her;“For some reason, people think that when you go to a restaurant or you are going shopping that you want to hear one of your own songs. It’s usually ‘Like a Virgin’ and that is the one I don’t want to hear.”. Say it how it is, Madge.
5) Lady Gaga- Telephone
We loved this 2009 hit from Gaga and Queen Bey, but the star isn’t a fan. “I hate ‘Telephone.” Gaga admitted to Pop Justice magazine;“Is that terrible to say? It’s the song I have the most difficult time listening to”. To be fair, it had nothing on Bad Romance.
6) Neil Young- Heart of Gold
Neil Young labeled the hit song “a bore” Meeting industry expectations were never Young’s idea of an ideal career, and by the middle of the ‘70s he’d ceased performing the song live. Instead of capitalizing on its popularity, he spent the remainder of the decade (and some would say career) confounding fans by releasing challenging tracks that spanned genres.
7) R.E.M- Shiny Happy People
This lot were never the most cheery of bands. So, when their record company asked them for a happy, up-tempo pop track to include on 1991’s Out of Time, they responded with this saccharine, ironic number with the belief that it would be immediately rejected. It wasn’t and it became one of their most successful singles. “It’s a fruity pop song written for children.” Stipe told the BBC’s Andrew Marr in 2016. “If there was one song that was sent into outer space to represent R.E.M. for the rest of time, I would not want it to be Shiny Happy People.”
8) Frank Sinatra- Strangers In The Night
The legend didn’t mince his words when it came to speaking about this huge hit; “it’s a piece of sh*t” he said during a live performance in 1982 “the worst f*cking song I’ve ever heard. If you like that song, you must be crazy about pineapple yogurt,” he hissed at a crowd one night. When they still roared their approval, he shook his head in disbelief. Guessing he’s not too keen then?
9) Radiohead- Creep
Thom Yorke gave this insightful review of his breakthrough smash hit that he wrote whilst in University in 1987- “Crap”.Radiohead guitarist Johnny Greenwood admitted he considered the song “wimpy” even as they were recording it, and played a trio of loud distorted guitar hits as a joke to sabotage the song. When the crowd in Montréal shouted requests for it, Yorke responded by saying, “F*ck off, we’re tired of it!”.
10) The Beatles – When I’m Sixty-Four
This was one of countless Beatles songs, written by Paul, that John Lennon unapologetically hated. He referred to this track as “granny music” (which is pretty apt considering the title) and said that the song was “Paul’s, completely. I would never dream of writing a song like that.”. It’s such a wonder why they broke up, isn’t it?
11) Coldplay- Speed of Sound
The band have admitted that they were trying to rip off Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill but didn’t quite hit the mark. However, the single went on to become a huge seller anyway. Chris Martin says it’s one of his least favorite songs which is why they will never play it live.
12) Pulp- Common People
It pains me that Jarvis Cocker isn’t a fan of this iconic Britpop hit, because (in my personal opinion) it’s one of the best songs ever written. It defines an entire era of British music, however, Cocker thought it was “a tuneless dirge” and “a load of rubbish”, which has to be one of the most quintessentially British insults ever.